The Fallen Hero

Bloomsbury. (Dragon Warrior: Bk. 2.). Oct. 2020. 352p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781547601974.
Gr 4-7–This sequel picks up immediately after the events concluding last year’s The Dragon Warrior. Faryn and the rebel deities land in Manhattan’s Chinatown seeking refuge with a group called the New Order. She spots her long-lost father in the crowd, but is devastated when he doesn’t recognize her. This bittersweet reunion, combined with the recent betrayal of her brother Alex, leaves Faryn feeling truly alone. But she doesn’t have time to dwell on her despair as destiny calls again, sending her on another quest to continue the mission of saving humanity from the Jade Emperor’s army. Secondary plots reinforce the central themes of familial connections and overcoming other’s perceptions. Faryn’s newest companions are siblings Ashley and Jordan, who also share her outsider status and deep desire to belong. As more challenges are thrown their way, all three questers confront their fears and Faryn discovers inner strength from ancestral bonds. Like book one, there is plenty of tongue-in-cheek cultural humor and many Chinese terms and names are interwoven throughout the text. A helpful glossary of the Chinese deities, demons, and terms that appear in the text is included in the back matter.
VERDICT Fast-paced and funny, this action-packed fantasy sequel dives deeper into Chinese mythology while exploring the universal need for friendship and acceptance.

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